Posted on: August 8, 2017

Freeborn Lake Update Meeting

Following a formal hearing and a full public review and comment period in late winter and spring of 2016, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MNDNR) plan for the rehabilitation and management of Freeborn Lake was finalized in August 2016 and approved in January of 2017.  The objective of this plan was to propose management strategies for improving water quality, habitats and fish and wildlife-based recreation for Freeborn Lake.  Concurrently, Ducks Unlimited and County staff finalized plans for replacing the culvert for the Cobb River on County State Aid Highway 6 with a new culvert that could act as a barrier to upstream movements of common carp and plans for replacing the dam on Freeborn Lake with a structure that will allow water level management.  The new structures will provide opportunities to mitigate for water quality and rough fish issues resulting in poor habitats and impaired water quality.  Applications for necessary federal and state permits were made and further lake work awaited final environmental reviews and permit approvals.  

Permits for the road work were finalized in winter 2017 and construction on the fish barrier/culvert for the County road crossing of the Cobb River began in late spring and is nearly complete.  Construction on the dam is awaiting final permitting from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and is expected to begin soon.  As construction begins the MNDNR plans to begin lowering water levels in the lake to facilitate construction.  Lower water levels will be maintained to control rough fishes and restore aquatic habitats.    

Please join us in Freeborn Thursday, August 17 at 6:00 p.m.  Implementation timelines for dam construction and associated lake level and fish management are beginning to firm up and will be discussed.  Staff will be on hand to answer questions and discuss the lake rehabilitation and other anticipated actions.    

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  1. Freeborn County  411 Broadway S., Albert Lea, MN 56007            Phone: 507-377-5299 

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